My Voice

Hello. My name is Chris.

This is my voice. Or at least the voice I am using in the recording above the words you see on this page.

Though I am not sure if it is my actual voice, or a voice I use in order to sound – well, accepted. To be able to convince someone, a listener, that I’m not who I really am.

There were two incidences this week that made me question what my actual voice is, and why I may use it or cloak it.

A colleague of mine wanted to talk through a different approach to their blogging style. To move away from a more scientific way of presenting information, to one that may be appropriate for an audience that isn’t familiar with their area of expertise.

They asked me for some suggestions.

My blogging style is very much like my voice. It is fast paced, loud, punchy and severely lacking in punctuation. Then, much like my voice, I tailor and adapt it. I go back and work out if the words I have said are actually real words or need a Princess Bride meme to follow them. If I use and or but or even why too often. I then throw in a few full stops and come up with something that is slightly more palatable.

The other occasion was when I answeredA the phone in the office. Sure we all have a telephone voice, but mine is borderline extreme. Ts are hardened. Vowels are firm. Words have a beginning and an end. A look of puzzlement at the voice I used – in front of someone for the first time – was a clear indication that my voice is hardly ever my own.

In many ways, the only time you really get to hear my real voice is when I am in London where I was born, amongst family and friends, with alcohol in hand and swearing. I only ever really swear in my own voice. Never harsh or intimidating. My real voice swearing is part of what may be described as everyday language.

I try not to swear at work. I try not to swear in front of my children – so that leaves very little time to actually allow my real voice to come to the surface.

So as a middle-aged man in the North of England, who hides his voice from his children, who are growing up with their own voices and accents, you may never hear the real me. The son of a greengrocer, from London, whose voice broke earlier than most – where swear words are interspersed amongst acceptable words. Until such a time when I am surrounded by mates, as drink flows and I love those C words with all my heart.

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